Living in Grace and Faith – Romans 4:13-25 – Week 12

Living in Grace and Faith

Romans 4:13-25

Week 12

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will complete Romans chapter 4 and continue with Paul building on the beauty of redemption and the romance of the gospel; that the justification before God for the forgiveness of sins, is by faith and not works.
Romans is truly a glorious, freeing book that lifts the weight of failure, the weight of sins, and the burden of guilt from the human heart.

From Romans 4 to Romans 8, we experience an ascending string of beautiful theological thoughts that are intended for us to be completely convinced and freed from anything in our lives that would hinder us from experiencing the love and affections of God in our lives.

In Romans 4:13-25 we see the following 6 movements in the text.

1 – Abraham, the heir of the world through His faith.

2 – Faith is the agency of acceptance in the Father and agency by which one receives the promises of God.

3 – Faith is the great equalizer of humanity.

4 – Salvation is rooted in the goodness of God and not human works for the affections of God.

5 – Faith is progression of trust in God that receives the promises of God.

6 – Faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father.

Romans 4:13-15

a) Paul describes Abraham as the heir of the world. Paul is referencing God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 and Genesis 15. Genesis 12:2-3 – “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Today the global Church of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prophetic promise that the LORD made to Abraham.

b) The vehicle for receiving the promises of God are not through the Law, but by the principle of faith, evidenced by trusting God through course of our lives, like Abraham. We should note that before Moses received the Law, the LORD already made 3 grace-based Covenants with humanity. The Adamic Covenant, the Noahic Covenant and Abraham’s Covenant. These covenants between God and man were motivated by God’s love and goodness toward humanity and His promise of Messiah who would redeem us the consequences of the Fall.

c) One cannot depend on the Law to bring righteousness because no one is able to keep the Law. Only One kept the Law, the Lord Jesus Christ, who through the perfection of His Law-Keeping, became the perfect Passover Lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of the world.

d) Where there is no Law, there is no transgression – How are we to understand
this statement? 1 – One may sin and still not transgress a command of the Law of Moses. 2 – The example of this would be Adam and Eve, who sinned and yet did not transgress the Law because sin’s root is breaking trust with God. Therefore, God relates to humanity through relationship and not Law. When people center their relationship with the LORD around Law-Keeping instead of loving Him, we contradict God’s plan of redemption.

Romans 4:16

a) It is abundantly clear in Scripture that our standing before God has nothing to do with who we are, but with who God is. Faith is the great equalizer of humanity. All who trust God and approach Him by faith in Messiah are sons and daughters of Abraham and children of God.

b) The agency of salvation is grace. Faith – Greek – charis – grace, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favor, of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace, a gift.

c) Salvation is rooted in the goodness of God. We cannot work for the affections of God because the affections of God toward people originate in Him. 1 John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us.

Romans 4:17

a) To give life, one must possess life. God is the God of life, the hope of resurrection, new beginnings and new creation life. b) God changes our reality and the impossible is possible with Him. He transcends our reality and can move in the lives of people in any way He desires. Our faith in Him, gives us the opportunity for the impossibilities of life to become possible in Him. Where ever we lack or need change, God is the agency of that change.

Romans 4:18-21

a) Notice that faith is simply believing God, or the promises of God to be true. Faith – Greek – pistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.

b) Faith that receives the promise of God works is modeled in the following ways: 1 – recognizing the impossibility, or the impossible situation. Denial is not faith. Faith sees the situation and trusts God in the midst. 2 – Faith is strengthened by giving glory (Greek – Doxa) to God. 3 – The promises are received by being persuaded, or the mind being steadfast in God’s power, or the inherent power of His Person.

Romans 4:22-25

a) Credited – Greek – logizomai – to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over, a
thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight, to take into account, to make an account of – it is an ancient banking term that Paul uses as a metaphor for the wealth of mercy, love and grace God shows in forgiving our sins.

b) Jesus Christ is the only way to access the promise of salvation, righteousness and justification. There is no other approach to God, but through trusting Christ. That is the great boast of Christianity compared to the religions of the world. All other religious systems approach God through works, with no assurance of acceptance. Only Christianity promises relationship with God apart from works, by faith is Jesus Messianic identity and Messianic works of the cross, with the evidence being the resurrection. Jesus death on the cross paid the ransom for sin and satisfied the justice, holiness and righteousness of God, and the resurrection proved the Father accepted that sacrifice.

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Living in Grace and Faith – Romans 4:1-12 – Week 11

Living in Grace and Faith

Romans 4:1-12

Week 11

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will begin Romans chapter 4 and see Paul building on the theological thought of justification before God is by faith and not works. Romans is truly a glorious, freeing book that lifts the weight of failure, the weight of sins, and the burden of guilt from the human heart. From Romans 4 to Romans 8, we experience an ascending string of beautiful theological thoughts that are intended for us to be completely convinced and freed from anything in our lives that would hinder us from experiencing the love and affections of God in our lives.

In Romans 4:1-12 we see the following movements in the text.

1 – Abraham is the example of faith that pleases God.

2 – God accepts all people, Jew or Gentile by their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

3 – Circumcision, like Baptism is a sign of the inward change of the heart that was born in faith.

Romans 4:1

a) Paul begins to build on the theological construct that all people are justified before God, not by religious works, but by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When we consider the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins of humanity, we are considering the following theological thoughts: Jesus fulfilled every type, shadow and prophesy in the Old Covenant Scriptures, Jesus was a perfect Adam/or representation of Man, and Jesus was sinless. These things make Him our Passover Lamb, and His resurrection proves that the Father accepted the sacrifice and handed Him the dominion that was lost in Eden.

b) Paul uses Abraham as the example because He was the father of the Hebrews and the most important figure in Judaism alongside Moses. In the context of the culture, many rabbis of the First Century taught that Abraham kept the Law by intuition or anticipation of the Law before God gave it to Moses. Therefore, he was justified by his works of the Law. Here are 2 quotes from ancient rabbis of the time; “We find that Abraham our father had performed the whole Law before it was given” and “Abraham was perfect in all his deeds with the Lord.”

c) Paul is making the point from the revelation given in Scripture that Abraham was indeed justified by faith and not works that anticipated the Law. d) Justified – Greek – dikaioō – to render righteous or such he ought to be, to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be, to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered. Notice that this is what God extends to people by faith and perceives us to be.

Romans 4:2-3

a) Notice that the Scripture says that Abraham believed God, and God credited righteousness to Him. It does not say God made Abraham righteous, but counted him righteous. We become wholly righteous at our death, or at the return of Jesus Christ if we are still living.

b) Counted/Credited – Greek – logizomai – to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over, a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight, to take into account, to make an account of – it is an ancient banking term that Paul uses as a metaphor for the wealth of mercy, love and grace God shows in forgiving our sins.

c) Paul quotes Genesis 15:6.

Romans 4:4-5

a) Paul makes the point that no one is truly ever justified by works. Even the Law witnesses this in Exodus and Leviticus, where the provision of the sin offering is prescribed for the guilty who sinned against God and people.

b) One of the major assignments of the spirit of religion is to keep God fearing people trapped in a system of works that strive for the affections of God.

c) When we trust Christ for our forgiveness, justification and righteousness, we are abiding in Jesus and resting in His finished work of the cross. We cease from striving for the affections of God and cease from striving for His love. See Romans 8:35

Romans 4:6-8

a) Paul uses David as the example of the one who has experienced the freedom of knowing that the sins of the past do not define our future or weigh on our souls.

b) In Psalm 32:1-2, David describes spiritual freedom. The remarkable thing about David was his revelation of God’s grace.

Romans 4:9-10

a) Paul makes the point from Abraham’s example that it does not matter what condition the person is in, whether Jew, or Gentile, it is believing God that justifies the persom before Him.

b) Galatians 3:26-29 – So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Romans 4:11-12

a) Circumcision was the seal, or the sign of the Covenant that God made with Abraham because he believed.

b) Baptism is the sign of our faith in the New Covenant era. It is the outward sign of what has already taken place in our hearts. Considering the kindness of God, how should we respond to that kind of love, care and provision as He has freed us from the judgment for our sins?

Living in Faith and Grace – Romans 3:21-31 – Week 10

Living in Grace and Faith

Romans 3:21-31

Week 10

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will complete Romans Chapter 3 and begin to touch the highest thoughts about Jesus Christ in any of the New Covenant Scriptures. Romans 3:21-31 are truly exciting because they refresh our souls through the knowledge of being forgiven of our sins in Jesus by faith and justified before the Father by His grace.

We see the goodness of God on full display in these 10 verses. We could say that these are freedom declaration verses that release the soul from the burden of shame and the religious spirit that keeps us bound in works and striving for the favor and love of God to present in our lives.

In Romans 3:21-31, there are 3 movements in the text.

1 – The Law and the Prophets prophesy the Messiah and the grace that He gives to humanity.

2 – Jesus is the Atonement for sin and justifies us before the Father.

3 – The Gospel of Jesus Christ upholds the Law because the Law prophesied the Gospel.

Romans 8:21

a) The Law and the Prophets all pointed to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Covenants that the LORD made with humanity and Israel were all types that prophesied Messiah and were fulfilled in Messiah. See Jeremiah 31:13.

b) Jesus fulfilled the Law, see Matthew 5:17-20.

Romans 8:22-24

a) In these few verses Paul gives us the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It does not matter who we are, or what sins we committed, it is Christ who met the righteous requirements of the Law and then extends them to us by faith. This is catastrophic to the spirit of religion.

b) Greek – righteousness – dikaiosynē – in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting.

c) It is by grace – Greek – charis – grace, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favor, of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace, benefit, bounty.

d) Notice that Jesus is the agency by which grace flows into the lives of people.

Romans 8:25-26

a) Jesus is the sacrifice by which the sins of humanity is atoned for. The word in the Greek (hilastērion) for atonement, refers to the mercy seat on to of the Ark of the Covenant. See Leviticus 16:15-16.

b) We receive the benefit of atonement by faith. God demonstrated His righteousness because He cannot violate His nature and character regarding the righteous judgment of sin. We see both Penal Substitution and Restorative Justice in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

c) The sins of the Old Covenant saints who sacrificed in the hope of Messiah were shown mercy from the LORD because the LORD in His omniscience was looking forward to the coming sacrifice of Messiah on the cross. The Old Covenant faithful looked forward, the New Covenant faithful look back to the cross. Therefore, Jesus is the pivot point by which the destinies of all people hinge.

Romans 3:27-28

a) There is no room for religious pride or self-righteous religious expressions because we are all dependent on Jesus for our justification and forgiveness of sins.

b) The religious spirit looks for works as a means of promoting hierarchies of spirituality that makes us more acceptable to God, instead of promoting dependence, humility and obedience that flow from relationship with God as a way of growing and pleasing Him.

Romans 3:29-31

a) The Scripture says our justification is by faith alone and not a combination of faith and works. Works flow from relationship and revelation by the Spirit. Christian works originate in the dialogue of prayer between us and God and what we see in the Scriptures that keep us in the Way.

b) Faith is the great equalizer of all people. It does not matter who we are, our faith is what maintains our acceptance in the Father.

c) Faith never voids the Law. The Law of Moses looked forward to the Law of faith that would come by the Messiah. Romans Chapter 4 explains this thought in detail. The gospel upholds the Law because the Law predicted the Gospel.